Revolver has teamed with Satyricon for exclusive vinyl variants of their first two albums: Dark Medieval Times (2LP in silver) and The Shadowthrone (2LP in Oxblood). Quantities are extremely limited — grab yours before they're gone.
In early 1994, Satyricon dropped their debut full-length, Dark Medieval Times, which was quickly followed later that year by The Shadowthrone. While the band — led by core creative team of vocalist/guitarist Satyr and drummer Frost — would eventually adopt a more "black & roll" sound on later albums (like 2006's Now, Diabolical), their early work was a grim slice of raw Norwegian black metal that continued in the icy, lo-fi lineage made famous by their countrymen in Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, Emperor and more.
Satyricon's latter-day material may be more accessible (and subsequently more commercially successful), but the duo's early output is still highly coveted by collectors (Dark Medieval Times has achieved white whale status) and beloved by Norwegian black-metal aficionados. Erlend Hjelvik — the former Kvelertak frontman and current architect behind the "blackened Viking heavy metal" project Hjelvik — counts himself among those faithful fans.
Below, Hjelvik talks about his history with Satryicon and reveals how the duo's "primitive and evil sounds" have influenced his own creative work.
TELL US THE STORY ABOUT HOW YOU FIRST DISCOVERED SATYRICON.
ERLEND HJELVIK Satyricon is one of the first black-metal bands I got into. I discovered them when I was 16 years old and was getting into Norwegian bands like Darkthrone, Dimmu Borgir, Immortal and so on. I got into [1999's] Rebel Extravaganza first and then [2002's] Volcano which really cemented my love for the band. It was also the first black-metal band I got to experience live. I saw them put on an amazing performance at the Quart festival in Kristiansand in 2002.
DID YOU EVENTUALLY WORK YOUR WAY BACK TO THEIR EARLIER WORK, LIKE DARK MEDIEVAL TIMES AND THE SHADOWTHRONE?
The first time I came across the older material was when I picked up the collection album called Ten Horns - Ten Diadems which came out in 2002. It had a bunch of tracks from the first two albums which led me to dive into those. The beginning of "Hvite Krists Død" [from The Shadowthrone] left quite an impression on me, "Kampen mot Gud og hvitekrist er igang!"
THESE FIRST TWO RECORDS ARE LONG OUT OF PRINT AND QUITE COLLECTIBLE. DO YOU OWN A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL VINYL?
I don't. I'm not much of a collector in the sense that I buy old black-metal records for thousands of crowns. I'm looking forward to picking up these reissues though!
SATYRICON ADOPTED MORE OF A TRADITIONAL HEAVY-METAL SOUND ON LATER ALBUMS. HOW DO THESE FIRST TWO RAWER BLACK-METAL ALBUMS RANK FOR YOU WITHIN THEIR CATALOG?
When I was younger, I favored the albums with the cleaner production more, like Rebel Extravaganza and Volcano. As the years went by, I started preferring the more primitive and evil sounds of their older albums. To me those recordings have even more soul and passion. I still hold [1996's] Nemesis Divina as the supreme Satyricon album, but I would put Shadowthrone and Dark Medieval Times right behind it.
HOW, IF AT ALL, DID SATYRICON INFLUENCE YOUR OWN CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT, OR THE WAY YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WRITING MUSIC?
I used to sing in a black-metal band called Djevel and we were musically very inspired by those first two Satyricon albums. My other former band Kvelertak was more inspired by the newer Satyricon output, say tracks like "K.I.N.G." and "Fuel for Hatred." I love all of it though and for my new band Hjelvik it all goes into the big inspiration melting pot.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SATYRICON SONG AND WHY?
This is a hard one to answer, but right now I would have to say "Vikingland" [from The Shadowthrone] as it's a big inspiration for what I'm currently working on.
DO YOU REGULARLY GO BACK AND LISTEN TO SATYRICON'S EARLY ALBUMS? OR DO THEY REPRESENT A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME IN YOUR HISTORY?
Yes, I dig out these albums every once in a while when I'm the mood for real Norwegian black metal. It doesn't get much better than this. These albums have been with me for many years now and they manage to both take me back and continue to inspire me.